New York and Paris: the two greatest cities in the world, right? I heard someone say that New York is a man while Paris is a woman. I'm all about finding equilibrium between masculine and feminine, which is probably why I have a preoccupation with finding the most Parisian places in New York.
Fortunately, there are tons of options to make you feel Parisian chic in New York. So, next time you feel like putting on a Petit Bateau sweater and forgetting to brush your hair, here's a few places to eat, shop, and have fun.
You guys know Eataly, right? Well, Le District is like that but for French food and it's one of the coolest discoveries I've found in the city. It's made up of three distinct 'districts' all in one building: Café District, Market District, and Garden District, plus four restaurants. You can certainly eat at the restaurants, but I recommend picking up some provisions from the districts and going for a picnic at Rockefeller Park.
Maman's four locations in New York are some of the cutest places in the city. No matter the location you choose, you are bound to find a rustic, feminine space with delicious food and beautifully designed to-go cups. I'm going to suggest you go to Tribeca for croissants and an omelette.
This patisserie on the Lower East Side is little but so cozy. You'll find delicious Viennoiserie like pain au chocolat, chausson aux pommes, and pain aux raisins that you can enjoy anytime. But, you can also pick up cakes and tarts for dinner parties or try the lunch menu.
Le Coucou is a trendy spot that is, by my standards, one of the most stunning restaurants in New York. The design reminds me of a slightly more feminine version of Axel Vervoordt's style. The menu is classically French and elegant with dishes like lemon chicken, pomme frites, and chocolate mousse. If your diet is plant based, I recommend trying the breakfast menu instead.
You all know that Sézane is one of my favorite brands and they recently opened their first shop in the city, located in Soho. The clothes are so classic and beautiful, but the shop is an experience in itself. There are black-and-white striped awnings outside and gorgeous herringbone floors inside. The store is so well merchandised and features lots of seating space so it feels more like a spot to hang out rather than just shop and leave.
There are five Le Labo locations in the city including a café in Brooklyn but I particularly like the location on 29th Street at The Ace. It's just a little shop with distressed walls and all of your favorite Le Labo fragrances. You can pick up a new perfume or candle, then go hang out in the Ace lobby with an iced coffee and a friend.
Check out Maison Kitsuné on Lafayette for cute yet simple graphic tees, dresses, and cool girl shoe options. This is a really cool brand that also produces music and has a very effortlessly chic vibe overall.
There are five Diptyque locations in the city (Grand Central, West Village, Upper East Side, Soho, and the Time Warner building). I just love the West Village location on Bleecker Street because the decor is extravagant and the neighborhood is a cozy favorite. Head here to pick up a few mini candles and find a new favorite scent.
films on the green
If you're in the city during the summer, you can attend Films on the Green, a French film festival in the parks produced by the French Embassy and the FACE Foundation. During the 2017 festival, they played movies like Godard's Le Mepris, The Science of Sleep, and La Ceremonie, all chosen by film industry veterans like Matthew Weiner, Wes Anderson, and Isabella Rossellini. What's better than spending a warm summer evening outside watching a French film on a blanket in the grass? To up the ante, take along a picnic from Le District.
For a chic night out, try Le Bain at the Standard in the Meatpacking District. This is your classic French discothèque complete with a plunge pool and a rooftop crêperie. Put on a chic look with cute shoes because it's definitely a fashion-oriented crowd.
For a more relaxed vibe, head uptown to the Albertine bookstore and reading room. You can find it inside the Payne Whitney Mansion, which is also home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. It's a beautiful spot with painted ceilings and a selection of books in English and French.
pétanque in bryant park
Okay, if you want to be a French grandpa, you can play pétanque at Bryant Park. It's basically that game where the old French men throw metal boules, trying to hit a smaller wooden one. If pétanque isn't your thing, the entirety of Bryant Park has a bit of a French park vibe to enjoy.